Lessons from my amazing dad

This year, the Barrie Terry Fox run will be celebrating the life of my father.  The life of my dad has been, and always be a huge inspiration to me. It breaks my heart to think that there are so many people out there who didn’t get the chance to meet the dynamic, larger-than-life man that lived every moment (and wasn’t given nearly enough time here with us).

I am one of six very luck people to have been raised by Jim Dirmeitis – It was like winning the Dad Lottery!


To kick off my month of fundraising prior to the Terry Fox run, I will share with you a couple of my favorite Dirmeitisisms


1) If you are having a great day, celebrate with ice cream.  If you aren’t having the best day, pick things up with ice cream.  If you are having a down right rotten day… eat some ice cream.  Ice cream is the affordable, easy accessible, 100% effective happy maker (or supreme comforter).  In fact, I think I will have a bowl right now!


2) Coffee. Black. Lots of it.

To be honest, I’m pretty sure my dad would have preferred I didn’t get into coffee as early as I did in life (I think I would have been short anyway),  but he always had a mug in his hand – so what else did he think would happen?! Growing up I remember fibbing and saying I loved black coffee as a way to get him to share some of his. He attempted to call my bluff, no doubt… but I eventually did acquire as taste for coffee. We had many a daddy-daughter coffee date.  A hot mug of coffee is the way I bring the comfort of my dad’s great big hugs into my daily life.

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3) Love your family. This is one of the last pictures of my dad and my grandma (who joined her son two weeks after his passing). My dad honored his mother and would never give up a moment to brag about what a strong, loving, generous, humble woman she was (and was she ever).  I find myself bragging about my family the way I used to be embarrassed to hear my dad brag about us… but I come from a family of incredible people, so what else can I do!


4) Give back.  The Terry Fox run is only one example of the way my dad gave back to those around him. He also taught karate, spoke at Gilda’s club fundraisers, and helped anyone who needed an extra pair of hands…. or set of ears…. or a shoulder…. or arms. Get the picture? There are many many times you will need to rely on the generosity of others, so all the other times be the person you hope to see in your time of need.

If you didn’t get the chance to meet the amazing Jim Dirmeitis, I am deeply sorry for your loss. You would have loved him. I do.



The small things

A week ago today I accidentally splashed hot oil on my right (dominant) forearm. Instant 2nd degree burn on a little less than two inches of skin.  The pain has yet to completely subside, but it’s totally bearable. This really could have been so much worse.

I was looking forward to two days of camping and trail riding with my boyfriend. We had planned on doing about 25 km a day, biking being a passion we share. My burn happened while cooking during the first night. We had literally just unpacked and set up… the bikes weren’t even off the rack and our plans were totally derailed.

I didn’t feel that my injury was bad enough to cancel our trip, we had packed a first aid kit (I am a know to be injury prone). The plan to hit the trails was now a thing of the past… and the future, but it wasn’t happening on this trip! Now the immediate plan was just to take it easy for two days and enjoy the campsite.

Here comes the great part – Chipmunks! These little guys changed my experience from one of sad self pity and regret to one of wonder and made my forced relaxation time an absolute joy. The chipmunks were even brave enough to climb on our laps and take peanuts right out of our hands.

Chipmunks are so super small, compared to them we must seem like whales, or elephants. They are understandably skittish around people… but that doesn’t stop them from facing their fears and coming over for a couple small peanuts. Not a huge reward, but still worth the risk 🙂

I am a small thing. I am closer to the size of a chipmunk than the size of a whale. If a tiny little chipmunk can climb my leg…. then I have no excuse. I can and will be as brave in the face of a daunting task. I can and will accept challenges that are out of my comfort zone. I will not go blindly forth, but will also take the lesson given to me by my little rodent teachers and be aware, respectful and mindful of the dangers around me.

I am happy not for the burn that forced me to sit still, but I am grateful for the lesson.

Be Happy

I struggled to try and find the perfect topic for my blog.  I  just don’t know where to start, as the idea of having my words read freely by the on line universe is extraordinarily daunting. What is the one most important message I want you (the reader) to take with you?

Be Happy

Every day people ask me why I am always smiling. The truth is, I smile because life is amazing. There are so many small miracles in day to day life that I can’t help but walk around in constant wonder.

I can commit to you that I will share some of the miracles that I see day to day in this blog, I will stand on this little soap box to try and further your love for this crazy amazing planet we are on. I will shamelessly preach about keeping your eyes open to the beauty you are surrounded by,  even if the message is on a small used napkin lying on the top of a pile of garbage in the bin.

May your glass ever be half full 🙂